February 2, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Emerging Stronger

We love the theme of this year’s AFLA Corporate Fleet Conference — “Emerging Stronger” is exactly what we all long for. Mark your calendars: October 4-6 in beautiful San Antonio.

In this month’s Call to Action column, marketing guru Ed Pierce introduces the first in a series of articles on account-based marketing. He says, “ABM can simply be stated as more targeted, personalized, and well-planned buyer engagement during their journey with your brand, the customer relationship cycle.”

FMW is delighted with the response to our first podcast which debuted in last week’s newsletter. In case you missed it, here’s Mercury Associates’ top executive Paul Lauria on the State of the Fleet Industry Today.

Stay Safe, Everyone!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Where the Used Vehicle Market is Now

The used vehicle market was extraordinarily strong in the second half of 2020, and is looking to remain fairly stable through the first quarter and into the second quarter of 2021.

VIDEO: Managing Your Fleet

 Taking Stock of Where Your Fleet is Now

It’s been a rough year, and you should be taking stock of where your fleet is now, if you haven’t already. Doing one-on-one’s with your team is a great place to start.

PODCAST: Paul Lauria on the Fleet Industry

 State of the Fleet Industry Today

The ongoing perfect storm: succession planning to avoid a brain drain during the time of the pandemic.

The Fleet Spot

Carolyn Edwards Brings Vast Fleet Industry Experience to Masterack as Head of Sales and Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Prominent fleet professional Carolyn Edwards just joined Masterack, a leader in offering innovative steel, aluminum, and composite cargo management solutions.

After 29 years at LeasePlan USA, where she began as a maintenance administrator and rose to the position of senior vice president of client relations, Edwards looks forward to applying her knowledge of fleet in support of Masterack’s goals and continuing her involvement in the fleet industry.

“Throughout my fleet career, I have found tremendous value in being an active member of all of the fleet trade associations,” says Edwards. “Personally, and professionally, I have grown as a result of my active participation and the relationships I’ve developed.”


Allianz Insurance Outsources UK Fleet to Fleet Logistics UK

Fleet Logistics UK

Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz Group, has outsourced the management of its UK company car fleet to Fleet Logistics UK to help develop its carbon reduction program and improve efficiency.

Allianz Insurance operates a fleet of 1,000 company cars in the UK, both work and management grade vehicles, which have traditionally been outright purchased for the last 14 years.

However, following the implementation of Fleet Logistics UK and a competitive tender, the entire fleet has been the subject of a sale and leaseback with ALD Automotive appointed as the sole leasing supplier for the legacy fleet.


NAFA & The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas: 4 Essential Traits for 2021 & Beyond

Free Webinar: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 — 10 AM PDT/1 PM EDT — Attendance is limited; please register at your earliest convenience.

You have survived 2020, maintained your energy and motivation, faced it down with courage, sacrifice and inspiration. Now, how do we move on and continue to operate at peak efficiency?

Outstanding fleet managers — though leaders all — will facilitate this interactive forum on what we can improve on and how to be prepared for a future with unprecedented challenges.


Ebbon Group Moves Into Automotive AI with Zegami Partnership

Ebbon Group

Automotive technology solutions provider Ebbon Group has moved into Artificial Intelligence (AI) via a new strategic partnership with Oxford University spin-off Zegami Ltd and the creation of a new business entity, Ebbon Intelligence.

The first practical application of the new relationship, which will see technical experts and developers from both parties working together, is likely to be in the field of smart repair and damage identification. This will allow the pinpoint accurate assessment of the depth and detail of the damage to vehicles during lease or rental periods.


Fleet Marketing

The pandemic has sped the need for fleet service providers to find more effective means of winning and keeping business in a digital business world. Account-based marketing moves beyond disparate lead generation, sales, customer service, and account management programs to deliver a winning strategy for the entire customer relationship journey.

By Ed Pierce, ITA Communications. Fleet

The steady pace towards digital marketing experiences for fleet service providers has become a raging torrent thanks to the COVID pandemic. For almost a year, relationships — including sales, customer service, and account management — have come to rely on digital communication whether they wanted to or not.

Suddenly, B2B organizations wishing to keep up with buyers, proactively support rapidly-changing business conditions, and stay competitive must shift from a lead-centric mentality to an account-centric mentality in order to win and nurture high-value accounts.



Crash-Free Culture

By Teri Snow, CSP, CEO of Snow Advisory, LLC and eDriving’s EHS&S “Guru”

Occupational health and safety has come a long way.

There once was a time when workplaces did not have any sanitation standards. Now, we not only regulate unseen toxins but we are also better prepared to fight unseen hazards to our health like COVID-19.

Workplace safety has evolved and will continue to evolve over time. As many businesses struggle to keep up with the ever-changing requirements to protect against the pandemic there is also a need to maintain focus on addressing the organization’s Health and Safety Compliance Obligations.

Ever heard the term “Never Let a Good Crisis go to Waste”?





Arval further reinforces its ambition to become the leader in sustainable mobility with the launch of a set of new mobility services, which together represent an industry first.

This new offering is part of the strategic plan Arval Beyond recently launched with one main ambition: to become a leading player in sustainable mobility through the rollout of its 360° Mobility offer. The Arval Mobility App is available in France and Germany, after having been successfully launched in the Netherlands. The Arval Mobility Hub is also launching in France. The services are then set to roll out progressively in the rest of Europe.

Alain van Groenendael, Arval Chairman & CEO, said, “Companies know that their future in terms of employees’ mobility lies in being able to offer to all of them – and not only to those eligible for company cars – a set of mobility options for their professional and also their personal use. At Arval, one of our missions is to make this future a reality.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

Car Safety Features Expand After COVID-19: Buyers Want Better Cabin Air Filters, Contactless Maintenance

USA Today

In an industry where safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control are big selling points, manufacturers and car dealers are scrambling to adapt to the reality of car-buying amid a pandemic. 

Many motorists will be looking for a better cabin air filter on their next car as they prepare for their spring break and summer road trips. But they also want a way to buy a vehicle with a minimum of personal contact.

Volvo recently surveyed drivers about their new car wish-lists. An air conditioner with built-in germ filtering was the most requested item (53%), followed closely by sanitization procedures incorporated within the standard maintenance package (52%). Drivers also said they wanted ways to make items like masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant more accessible in the vehicle such as a phone sanitizer in the console or a designated place to store a mask in the car.

Read the article at USA Today.

New Crash Tests Show Modest Speed Increases Can Have Deadly Consequences


Small speed increases can have huge effects on crash outcomes, as shown in new crash tests by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Humanetics.

Drivers often travel faster than posted speed limits, but when officials raise limits to match travel speeds, people still go faster. Today, 41 states allow 70 mph or higher speeds on some roadways, including eight states that have maximum speeds of 80 mph or more.

“Cars are safer than they’ve ever been, but nobody’s figured out how to make them defy the laws of physics, said Dr. David Harkey, IIHS president. “Rather than raising speed limits, states should vigorously enforce the limits they have. This includes using proven countermeasures like high-visibility enforcement and carefully implemented speed-camera programs to consistently and equitably enforce speed limits 24/7.”

Read the article at IIHS.

As Traffic Deaths Spike During COVID-19, new Report Examines Unsettling Trend of Teen Drivers Speeding – and Dying – on America’s Roads

Ford Media Center

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, released a new report, ‘Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle’ that examines the significant role speeding plays in teen driver fatalities and offers practical tools to help parents rein in this lethal driving habit.

The new analysis for GHSA found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16-19 years of age) accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%). During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in speeding-related crashes.

The report includes state-by-state statistics. It sheds new light on what we know about speeding-related fatal crashes involving teens – the driver is more likely to be male, have run off the road or rolled the vehicle, and be unbuckled.

Read the article at Ford Media Center.

New Toyota Tech Unit Promises World’s Safest Drive


Toyota Motor Corp unveiled its Woven Planet research unit at a virtual media event on Friday, promising to deliver the world’s “safest mobility” as competition heats up to develop self-driving and connected cars.

As traditional automakers face competition from the likes of Apple, Amazon and Sony, Toyota is looking to marry Woven Planet’s Silicon Valley approach with its storied Toyota Production System manufacturing process to develop the next generation of cars.

Led by ex-Google roboticist James Kuffner, Woven Planet also says it has the advantage of scale in collecting data – key to developing artificial intelligence-aided software – through the tens of millions of Toyota cars on the road worldwide. Toyota retook the crown as world’s best-selling automaker in 2020, unseating Volkswagen AG.

Read the article at Reuters.

GM to Be All-Electric by 2035


General Motors, Detroit’s biggest automaker, says it plans to exclusively offer electric light-duty cars and trucks by 2035, five years ahead of a previously announced goal and part of a broader mission to make its production and operations carbon neutral by 2040.

That timeline puts GM well ahead of market forecasts: Less than half of the US vehicle market is expected to be electric by 2035. GM could see its big risk pay off. The company will just have to bet everything it has to find out.

By moving up its EV goalposts, the company is speeding up the depreciation of its factories and supplier relationships, but also its decades of intangible know-how. The world’s automakers have learned better than anyone how to squeeze every last drop out of their mastery of the internal combustion engine, a technology first installed in commercial cars in 1886. Turning away from this is more than just junking materiel; it’s abandoning a competitive advantage formed over more than a century.

Read the article at Quartz.


Safety and Continuous MVR Monitoring

According to conventional wisdom, pulling a driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) once a year is enough to identify risky drivers. In fact, it gives risky drivers a long grace period before discovery and unnecessarily raises the fleet’s risk profile and potential for a costly liability claim.

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales

Among the most common objections to implementing a continuous motor vehicle record (MVR) program is that a once-a-year MVR pull is “good enough” to identify risky drivers.

This objection, which reflects conventional wisdom about MVRs, is true enough for most drivers. In fact, the vast majority of drivers will not have a violation necessitating the pulling of an MVR and intervention by fleet personnel or management.

However, even the best driver can engage in risky behavior resulting in a violation — raising the fleet’s risk profile, the potential for a serious crash, and a liability lawsuit.

Once-a-year MVR pulls are a gift to risky drivers, giving them a grace period of almost a year before a violation is discovered — putting the company at risk for a liability lawsuit if this behavior escalates into a serious injury or fatality accident.



A Career in Fleet Remarketing

Ron Breslow Joined FLD Remarketing As Kid, Retires As Partner

If careers were hat racks, Ron Breslow would likely appear to be the biggest haberdasher in town because he wore just about every hat that existed in the remarketing world!

Office guy, driver, lot manager, auction lead, vice president, partner — pretty much whatever the main cog in a company wheel needs to do. To hear Breslow say it, it’s possible that over the years, he’d be out waxing cars when he wasn’t making major business decisions.

In a tenure that lasted over 40 years, the just recently retired partner of Delray Beach-based fleet services company FLD Remarketing handled just about every position the company ever had and some that may not have even existed!

“Hell, if someone needed me to sweep the parking lot,” I probably did that too,” mused Breslow, now retired and comfortably ensconced in his Florida home, not far from the office where he helped pioneer the modern vehicle remarketing industry.


Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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